Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Preview
Friday’s Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1) drew 14 plus one also-eligible, and the one-mile grass contest looks ripe for a price winner. Three of the entrants are coming from overseas, but I like a Woodbine shipper who has already acclimated to the Kentucky weather.
1: CONQUEST DADDYO (12-1) may appear more like a longshot at 12-1 on the morning-line, but the Mark Casse trainee looks poised for a big run on Friday. The dark bay colt captured his debut before returning three weeks later to be a half-length second in the Vandal S., both over Woodbine’s synthetic Polytrack. He made his turf bow on September 12 in the Summer S. (Can-G2), but broke a step slow and found himself running in the rear of the field under returning jockey Joe Bravo. Conquest Daddyo was nearly eight lengths behind the leader on the backstretch and Bravo got busy on the colt nearing the turn. He circled the entire field and powered to the front, eventually holding the re-opposing Sky Marshal by 1 3/4 lengths on the wire. That win netted Conquest Daddyo a 94 BRIS Speed rating, and anything near that type of effort on Friday could see the Ontario-bred colt back in the winner’s circle.
2: AIROFORCE (4-1) is a stablemate to Conquest Daddyo, also coming from the Casse barn, and is also the top choice’s biggest problem in the Breeders’ Cup. The gray juvenile is two-for-two thus far, both on the turf and both worth BRIS Speed ratings in the 90s. Airoforce easily broke his maiden at Kentucky Downs in early September by 3 1/4 lengths, and returned October 4 at Keeneland to earn his way into the Juvenile Turf via a 2 1/2-length score in the Bourbon S. (G3). That 1 1/16-mile contest came over a yielding course at Keeneland, experience that only enhances Airoforce’s chances under regular rider Julien Leparoux on Friday.
3: CYMRIC (7-2) is one of the international runners who shipped in for this race, and he could end up shipping home with some extra hardware (i.e. trophy). Trained by John Gosden, the bay colt has racked up a 2-1-1 mark from five starts already this season. After earning his first victory in July at Sandown, the Kentucky-bred traveled to York for a third-place effort in the Acomb S. (Eng-G3). Cymric captured his next race back at Sandown before shipping to Longchamp in France for a neck second in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere (Fr-G1), and enters the Juvenile Turf off that encouraging effort going a mile.
Longshot: RAY’S THE BAR (20-1) could find himself in the mix late for trainer Chad Brown. The bay colt is a tad low on his BRIS numbers, but parlayed a debut head victory at Ascot in July into a half-length third last out in the Pilgrim S. (G3). Only two necks separated the British-bred colt from the win that day after he ran in the back of the field early and bullied his way through traffic just yards from the wire. Ray’s the Bar was briefly in front before hitting the wire nearly in tandem with the winner and second-place finisher, and he could surprise here with another stubborn rally.
Conquest Daddyo photo courtesy of WEG/Michael Burns Photography